Thanks to the League of Women Voters, I was able to watch and listen to the debate between contenders for the office of Island County Treasurer. The incumbent, Treasurer Ana Maria Nuñez, gave specific and detailed answers to the questions asked of her, demonstrating a high level of competency and dedication.
Ms. Cannell, one of Ana Maria’s challengers, noted that she hoped to gain knowledge of the position of treasurer while learning “on the job.” Public tax dollars and associated duties of the office can’t be left to a trainee.
Ms. Grone, another challenger and previous chief deputy treasurer appointed by the incumbent, used her time to bash Ana Maria rather than expand on any knowledge she may have obtained while on the job. Grone failed to look the audience in the eye, instead staring self-consciously downward during her attacks. Grone noted that she had been fired from her job in the treasurer’s office.
One of Grone’s complaints about Ana Maria was that she had spent time out of the office. Grone failed to mention that the absence was to tend to a gravely ill family member. Ana Maria explained that during her time away, she kept in constant contact with the office, and her work, by internet and phone. In a subsequent conversation I had with Ana Maria she noted that Ms. Grone had filed to run against her without notifying her first, creating challenges of trust, which in an office dealing with the public’s money was simply too risky.
Ms. Grone’s actions demonstrate a lack of character and a slipperiness that is not consistent with the kind of person that we ought to have in such a responsible position. If she can’t be up-front with her boss, or fulfill her job duties, how can we expect her to be forthright and reliable in overseeing the precious tax dollars of Island County’s people and many taxing districts? Grone has already demonstrated a lack of trustworthiness. We don’t need someone with these character and performance flaws to be our treasurer. I’m putting my support behind our current, proven and capable treasurer, Ana Maria Nuñez.